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Dutch singer Anneke Grönloh (76) passes away

One of the Netherlands’ first Eurovision singers has passed away. Anneke Grönloh died last Friday in her home in the south of France. She was aged 76.

A 58 year career

Anneke Grönloh was one of the nation’s favourite singers in her heyday. She was born in 1942 in Tondano, Indonesia. After moving to the Netherlands, she won her first talent show when she was 17, in 1959. She didn’t have to wait for a long time for her big hit. Brandend Zand was released in 1962 and stayed in the charts for over thirty weeks. The song is the most selling Dutch single of all time, selling over 3,5 million copies.

Grönloh’s name became an established one after two more enormous hits, with Paradiso and Soerabaja, a song named after an Indonesian island. At the top of her fame, the Dutch broadcaster asked Grönloh to represent her country at the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 in Copenhagen. Despite her management advising her not to go, Grönloh insisted on defending her nation’s colours. The national final consisted of three songs only, of which Jij Bent Mijn Leven was the winner. Despite high expectations in her own country, the song only finished in tenth at Eurovision.

Anneke Grönloh continued her career in a less commercial repetoire. She didn’t score many big hits in her home country after 1965. However, she became a big name abroad. She scored two #1 singles in Yugoslavia, when she sang Wladimir and Ximeroni in Serbian.

Her final hit in the Netherlands dates back to 1986. She signed a new deal with her old record company and that turned out to be a success. Santo Domingo was the return to the charts and the spotlights for Grönloh. Throughout the 1970s, she was still a loved character on television, despite the lack of hits.

Singer of the century

In 2000, Anneke Grönloh was chosen by the Dutch people as the Singer of the Century. She received an award for being the most loved artist of the twentieth century.  After that honour, Grönloh continued singing for another seventeen years. She retired in 2017 after dealing with severe lung issues for a while.

Anneke Grönloh passed away peacefully in France last Friday. Reports say she will also have her final resting place in the country she loved so much.

The thoughts of the entire team are with Anneke Grönloh’s family and friends in these difficult times.

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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